New York City
New York City
It is my firm belief that drama education should be part of our national education curriculum as it is in the United Kingdom and Australia. Drama gives students a practical methodology for learning how to problem solve, negotiate with one another and how to manage and be managed to create a product. These skills apply to any and all professions while at the same time deepen our appreciation of other cultures and different ways human beings learn and interact with one another.
Drama also provides exciting forays into multiple content areas. I have been fortunate as an educator to build productions that encompass diverse subjects. A show that investigated the science behind simple machines, medieval history and the study of Arabic became a piece about an underground palace that my middle school students wrote themselves. I’ve also constructed dance dramas that combined (or ‘mashed-up’) Egyptian mythology and Mayan history as a narrative base. Additionally, I created a 16 week process drama that covers the theory of gravity, discovery of the New World, the critical theory of the “Other,’ and the history of Portuguese naval exploration.
My work begins with assessing my students’ prior knowledge, developing games and strategies that will cement them into an ensemble and then unfolding to them a playwriting process wherein they are also the dramaturgs. While we are writing the text, we are also engaging in becoming the characters through improvisation, research and guided discussion. In this way, by the time my students are performing the play, they are also well aware and deeply proud that they are the creators and owners of the work.
I have done this work with students in elementary schools, middle and high schools as well as in private and public schools. There is no boundary for the creative heights students can achieve when given the proper priming and templates to create drama. This is my work. And I love it.